I tried Out A few Skincare Trends to See If They're Worth The Hype
Look, we've all been victims of tidal-wave skincare trends that ended up being total duds, and some of you may be more inclined to question whether the constant barrage of new skincare products that are being marketed to you through your IG and Facebook feeds are just banking on fake 5-star reviews bringing in the business before they pull the rug out from under you.
Since I am a skincare junkie, I am often trying out new products all the time. My main concerns that I try to address with topical beauty products? Acne, sensitivity, skin laxity, dehydration, discoloration and clogged pores.
I know, this is a LOT. But as we age, these factors become more and more of an issue for women. Here are the stand-out products I've personally put to the test and will continue to use for their efficacy.
None of these brands are sponsored by J.ING, and all are paid for out of my own pocket.
CBD Oil : Highly Calming
CBD, or cannabidiol, has been making its way into skincare products. Though there has been a lack of evidence in the science community of any evidence that these products have garnered wide-spread or controlled results, my interest in CBD-infused items has been ever-growing due to the medicinal and calming effects i've experienced when using regular CBD products.
Now, I know what you're thinking - and NO, I am not suggesting that you use marijuana. CBD is just one of hundreds of active compounds that found in the marijuana plant, but it does NOT contain the psychoactive compound THC, which is the element that produces a "high" when ingested. CBD does not produce the same euphoric side effect; in fact, a study done by the World Health Organization found that "CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.” Rather, CBD has been found to produce calming effect that relieves symptomatic pain or discomfort.
One article on the Harvard Health Blog website had interesting findings about the health benefits that CBD had when applied on animals who were in pain.
A study from the European Journal of Pain showed, using an animal model, CBD applied on the skin could help lower pain and inflammation due to arthritis. Another study demonstrated the mechanism by which CBD inhibits inflammatory and neuropathic pain, two of the most difficult types of chronic pain to treat.
Although animal testing is not something that should be practiced, this is a case where the animal benefited from the controlled testing.
All of this is to say, I am not someone who easily entrusts my skincare needs to big beauty industry brands, and sometimes that means coming up with cockamamie ideas that might prove disastrous - such as purchasing straight-up CBD oil that is meant to be ingested orally...on my face.
That's right. After I had been scouring the internet for CBD-infused beauty products that seemed worth the hype and falling short of finding any that caught my attention, I started wondering if I could control just buy CBD oil myself and add accordingly to my existing product arsenal. This way, I wouldn't have to add a completely new product to my already-crowded medicine cabinet and somehow reconfigure my whole routine, AND i'd have more control in the amount I wanted to use.
Turns out, I COULD! But which CBD oil to choose from? After all, there were endless different CBD-based companies on the internet, all claiming to be the best in the game. I decided I didn't want to go with a company that already had a huge following. Why? Because I like start-ups companies for their small-batch processes.
Still, I didn't want just any quality CBD oil, if I was going to test this out I wanted it to be with lab-tested, high-quality CBD oil to ensure I got the maximum benefits. I settled on a natural, unflavored, full-spectrum CBD tincture from a company called LuxTribe.com after more than one of my friends suggested this brand to me to try on my skin.
I chose the most costly ($149), full-spectrum and unflavored 1500 mg CBD-infused tincture, as it was the highest potency available.
On LuxTribe's website, they wrote:
" Our 1500mg Natural CBD Tincture is a phytocannabanoid rich, full spectrum tincture derived from hemp. With it’s full cannabinoid profile it has potential to deliver the enhanced benefits of the “entourage effect.” A simple, effective, natural way to take CBD. This is the most potent oil we offer due to increasing amounts of THC at high concentrations."
This particular item DID have THC in it, but only a very trace amount.
Long story short, I applied three single drops of this tincture to my night cream (I alternate between my Dewyer Face Cream & Eighteen B's Hydrate + Restore Rich Cream) every other night.
Well, I'm still using it consistently to this day. And I've barely made a dent in the bottle, even after 3 consistent months of usage! My skin has had far less breakouts and has acquired an incandescent glow. It would be an understatement to say I was pleasantly surprised.
The biggest difference is definitely the calmness its restored to my skin. Before, my face would be bright red after I rinsed my facewash off, and at times it would feel inflamed by new products. Now, it's pale and clean-looking.
I attribute this to the CBD oil. I haven't had the best luck in facial oils, and most tended to break me out. I was hesitant at first to try the CBD oil from LuxTribe due to my bad reaction with coconut oil, but I haven't had a single problem with this product and feel lucky to have found a product that has multi-functional uses while being effective in calming my skin and mind.
Frankincense Essential Oil: Sacred Skincare
I only recently started learning about the powerful beautifying properties naturally produced by the application of essential oils to the skin. Previously, I had only considered that they were used for enhancing aromas in beauty products, and had even stayed away from them due to being afraid of the bad reaction my skin would have to "scented" products.
After a bit more perusing through the internet for the best essential oils to use for aging skin, I started to notice that one of the most touted essential oils that would get brought up to address skin laxity was frankincense essential oil. And not just ANY frankincense oil, but SACRED frankincense essential oil.
I decided to look further into this more and I found that this is considered liquid gold in the natural skincare circles, which of course seemed a bit too good to be true.
But after further research, I saw that this biblical elixir really does have dedicated users who swear by its anti-aging properties and how it's kept them looking 20 years younger than their real age!
So I decided to purchase a bottle of this acclaimed concoction myself and add a few drops every night, sometimes with my CBD oil, and...
So far, I love it. Not only is the smell intoxicating and truly spirit-lifting, I am excited to pamper myself with this every time I smooth this onto my face. I have only added this into my routine a week ago, and already my skincare has been enhanced. My face is smoother, softer and truly glowing. Although quite expensive (I got mine for $99 from Rose Mountain Oils), you are to use sparingly and always in a carrier oil! Never put directly onto your face, as that could prove too harsh. Mix in 1-2 drops in your face cream or in almond, jojoba, argan or whatever facial oil you prefer before applying to your skin.
Bakuchiol: The new Retinol
Bakuchiol oil is blowing up on the skincare scene! Touted as the "natural retinol" for its ability to produce the same skin-saving results as retinol-based products without the irritation and dryness.
Sound too good to be true? There are already scientific studies based on the beneficial results that Bakuchiol has in skincare products compared to retinol, with results that are comparable.
So what is Bakuchiol? According to a study conducted by the British Journal of Dermatology, Bakuchiol is a "phytochemical that has demonstrated cutaneous antiageing effects when applied topically." The study went on to say that "early studies have suggested that bakuchiol is a functional analogue of topical retinoids, as both compounds have been shown to induce similar gene expression in the skin and lead to improvement of cutaneous photodamage."
I have had mixed results with retinoids, with some producing great results that made my skin acne-free and firmer.
The most effective trentinoin creams i've used were prescription-strength and very expensive ( up to $200 per tube + the doctor visit). I wanted to simplify my needs by signing up for an online "prescription-strength" trentinoin product, but it proved to be ineffective and even irritating on my skin. So when bakuchiol came onto the scene, I thought it was time to give it a shot. Plus, I love purple so this more of a reason to purchase.
I've been using bakuchiol for only a few days, so I can't attest to its long-term efficacy, but I thought it was worth including due to its scientifically-backed up ability to produce anti-aging results with consistent use.
My skin feels nice and clear. This has not caused any breakouts at all so far, but I've been using this for less than a week. It's too soon to say, but there are many more testimonials on Herbivore's Bakuchiol oil that you can read up about! Check back in a few months for an update.
Squalene: Slippery Skin
If you're looking for pure hydration, squalene is a silky-smooth way to infuse moisture into any of your creams and moisturizers. Not all squalene is equal, though.
Previously, squalene was harvested from poaching sharks in the ocean, which is an inhumane practice that is not ethical or sustainable. Now, with brands like The Ordinary, squalene can be obtained from plant derivatives while maintaining the same hydrating effects!
And what's more is that The Ordinary offers this skin-quenching formula for only $7.90 USD! After forking out a huge portion of your paycheck on the items recommended above, this item's low cost is a well-needed reprieve.
Squalene is known to give your skin the necessary surge in hydration that it needs, especially if you are using retinols in your nightly routine, since it's known to dry out the skin to the point of peeling.
It even helps dry and brittle tresses!
However, squalene doesn't work on everyone and can irritate some skin types. Despite my skin being highly reactive to certain products, i've luckily avoided having a bad reaction to the Ordinary's squalene oil, and my skin's been soaking it up every night in glory. This causes the skin to plump up in slippery glory, and it's been a god-send for me during my retinol-ravaged skin.
After using this for about 6 months, I can honestly say that I notice how dull and old my skin looks when I didn't use it the night before. Get this for its low price! There's nothing to lose, and your hair will thank you if your face doesn't like it.
My skincare routine wouldn't work on everyone, so please do your own research and visit a dermatologist before embarking on your own skincare journey. My skin is far from perfect now, with acne scars, discoloration and other long-enduring ailments acquired during my teenage years plaguing me most of the time. What I can say is that these products have been crucial in keeping my skin staying supple and relatively clear.
They are mainstays in my skincare stash, and i'll continue to use them inconjunction with the products I switch in and out of my nightly routine.